Santa Margarita River Trail

MODERATE 739 reviews

Santa Margarita River Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fallbrook, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

washed out

I-15 N to Fallbrook exit. Take Mission Rd. 5 mi. E; turn N onto Pico Ave. (becomes De Luz Rd.). Continue 2.4 mi.; go R @ fork onto Sandia Creek Dr. N. Parking area is in 1 mi. (just before bridge); trailhead is E of lot.

hiking
8 hours ago

It was a beautiful scenery with lots of greenery & water. The hike was moderate I did it with my dog, puppy,& 2kids. Ok now the negative we picked up a TICK but luckily it didn't attach to anyone yet. So before you go out here put on your deterrent & protect your fur babies!!!!

11 days ago

Enjoyed this trail, scenery was beautiful

hiking
26 days ago

First time here had a great time. Only went about half way in but I’m really overweight and out of shape and did 5 miles round trip pretty easily. Had a few swimming holes we swam in. Would do it again.

1 month ago

First time doing this trail. Liked it a lot. Quiet with great river views. Only thing I didn’t like was the amount of dog excrement along the trail.

1 month ago

Love this trail. not good for out of shape seniors. There are some narrow cliffs and boulders that they could easily get hurt on. I'm upper 50's and take my dog several times a month. scenic, peaceful and not too strenuous.

1 month ago

Nicely done trail

hiking
1 month ago

Nice and quiet. Quite a bit of poison oak tho

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail with beautiful views. Not difficult at all, but does have some tricky spots. Our dog loved it! There were also people fishing and getting photos taken while we were there. The river was why we went on this hike and we will definitely be back!

horseback riding
2 months ago

Love this trail! The water crossing are fun and nice for the horses when it’s hot. There’s plenty of shade and nice footing for your horse!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, like the other reviews said, pretty easy to start with a few slick places. Saw tons of poison oak, poison ivy and a big rattlesnake, so keep an eye out.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail. Beautiful along the river. And you can go further than the point on the map. Relatively easy footing(a small amount of scrambling).

hiking
2 months ago

It was a pretty easy trail. There were some narrow/rocky hills that made it a little difficult for kids/elderly people but other than that it was great. The view of the river was lovely. I would recommend going early morning so it’s not so hot. We got there around 11 and the parking lot was full so you have to wait for a car to exit to enter. Take lots of water and sunblock!

2 months ago

Very easy hike, but beautiful, relaxing and therapeutic! Great for kids!

3 months ago

Loved this trail. Definitely go early. When we were on our way out a ton of people were passing us going in. There are some narrow parts that make it difficult when trying to pass other hikers.
The view of the river is wonderful. Our 3 and 6 year old kids did good, we only did about half though.

3 months ago

Very nice walk ,more easy then moderate

horseback riding
3 months ago

Best riding trails in Southern California!

walking
3 months ago

Easy Trail Walk rather than hike... wonderful sound of water accompanies as you stroll along a walk friendly path. Ideal for kids and seniors... I would add that there are a couple of vistas (midway and at the turn around) that could serve as very romantic stops. One word of caution... pay careful attention to the parking lot closure time (7PM)... they will tow you!

hiking
3 months ago

mostly shaded, pretty stream along the trail, plenty of opportunity to make longer by veering off a number of side routes. Park benches along the way. Many people on horseback, so be aware if you bring the doggos along.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Super easy! We go when we want to get a quick easy hike in before starting a super busy day. There is the river that is just gorgeous and there are places off to the side for a quick snack break. Love this trail!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Just watch out for the Poison Oak...there is a lot of it.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Not well marked.

4 months ago

So beautiful I will going again very soon

5 months ago

love this place

backpacking
5 months ago

Great starter trail for those looking to start hiking or just to get out of the house. Very family friendly and a good place to take your dogs on a walk. A little over 5 miles which has awesome features including a river. If you’re bored at home I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Very pretty and relaxing trail. The views are lovely and there are many places along the river to both explore and kick back a little. We spotted some poison oak on the riverbanks, but it's easily avoidable if you keep an eye out.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail has some real beautiful views. There is a couple of parts that were rocky or felt like we were walking on a ledge but it’s so fun especially if you have kids. People go horseback riding here so it’s nice to see that.

hiking
5 months ago

If you’re looking for a good hike to see water in So Cal this is the one for you.

Easy trail with a small section that is narrow with a drop off.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the better hikes I have been on. What I love about this trail, is the wide variety of scenery you experience. It feels like 4 hikes in one...So many trails to explore.

hiking
6 months ago

Great place.

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